Mt. Vernon Register-News

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November 8, 2013

Foundation to honor three alumni

MT. VERNON — Three distinguished alumni of Mt. Vernon Township High School will be recognized Saturday evening during the fifth annual MVTHS Foundation dinner.

Also during the banquet, which begins at 6 p.m. at Holiday Inn, the MVTHS Foundation teacher grant recipients will be announced.

“The Foundation exists to promote excellence in education at Mt. Vernon Township High School, which would include the recognition and celebration of the many achievements of these three alumni,” said Matt Flanigan, chairman of the dinner.

The Foundation has been in existence since 2005, and Flanigan is anticipating the largest crowd ever for the evening dinner. A reception will be held from 5 to 6 p.m.

Individuals selected by the Distinguished Alumni Selection Committee include:

Paul Lee, a 1958 MVTHS graduate, who is a retired professor of Physics and Astronomy from Middle Tennessee State University. He also served as a faculty member for many years at Louisiana State University. As a result of his astronomical research program in stellar and nebular spectroscopy and photometry, Dr. Lee authored more than 50 publications concerned with chemical evolution of the Milky Way. Some of his many accomplishments include the directorship of National Science Foundation programs, several NASA grants, and other projects that provide outreach and development to both high school and science teachers.

Susan Kaufman Russ, a 1961 MVTHS graduate, is a pioneer in women’s athletics who was a highly successful coach and teacher at University of Memphis and The Harpeth Hall School in Nashville. Though she played no sports in high school or college (because no women’s sports programs existed at the time), she started the track and field program at the University of Memphis in 1969 and went on to win a record 20 Tennessee state championships in track and field and cross country. Her many accomplishments include her induction into the Tennessee Sports Hall of Fame and the M Club at the University of Memphis.

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